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Google also warns that backgroun location updating "uses lots of data," noting that "an unlimited data plan is strongly recommended." Not being able to run location updates in the background defeats much of the utility of Latitude, which is expressly designed to keep an updated tab on friends' current location.However, if Apple were to grant Latitude the right to do this, it would also be pressed to allow similar friend-tracking services, such as Loopt, to do the same thing in order to avoid accusations of unfair competition.On other mobile platforms, including Google's Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Window Mobile, Google runs a Latitude service in the background.Google does not currently offer a native Palm Pre/Web OS version, and Pre users report that the web version targeted toward the i Phone does not currently work correctly on that device.

However, liberally sharing GPS location tracking is a sensitive area already limited by legislation, so any such system would require full disclosure and adequate security to prevent spyware or other legal liabilities from popping up.

Both Android and i Phone come with built-in location tracking utilities, so long as the location services (GPS) on those phones is enabled, and the owner has provided the application with permission to share their location.

The following are a few ways you can take advantage of those location-tracking services if you own an Android phone (even if the phone you want to trace is an i Phone).

Doing so would still incur some new demands on battery, processing, and network data use.

There already have been demonstration mashup web apps that log into Mobile Me and regularly request the given user's location.

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